Saturday, March 26, 2011

Game 3 StFX vs Alberta

X-Men rebound from loss, defeat Golden Bears

Christopher Cameron

After suffering a disappointing loss to the No. 2 McGill Redmen in day one of the University Cup the StFX X-Men found a way to defeat No. 3 Alberta Golden Bears.

Winning 3-1 the X-Men have kept themselves in the tournament. Whether they will make Sunday’s final depends on the result of the final Pool B game tomorrow between McGill and Alberta.

As StFX head coach Brad Peddle said after the game they will be hoping for Alberta.

“That is first and foremost. Alberta has to win; now we’re going to turn into Alberta fans I can tell you that for tomorrow,” he said. “Like I said to our guys last night this has been called the ‘pool of death’ before this started for good reason because there was a good chance that these three teams could go 1-1.”

Keeping their team alive was no easy task, but as Peddle said that it all started with the first shift.

“It (first goal) was huge because we get that first goal and it’s confidence right, for your whole team. It lifts up your bench, but aside from the first goal if you think back it was the first shift,” said Peddle. “We started guys like Rob Warner and Scott Brannon and Brennen Wray. Those guys are big strong guys that are physical on the forecheck and we started those guys to get the energy up.”

Scoring that first goal came late in the first period off the stick of Phil Mangan, in a period dominated by StFX.

The Golden Bears mustered three quality chances towards the end of the period on the power-play, but StFX goaltender Joseph Perricone had a few huge pad saves.

In the second period StFX continued to get into penalty trouble, taking as Spencer McAvoy got called for interference.

Alberta capitalized on the powerplay with Derek Ryan putting the puck past Perricone.

The Golden Bears did not sit back there and midway through the second had a 2-on-0 opportunity, which amounted to nothing as the shot went wide. Perricone discussed his thought process as the Golden Bears came in on him.

“Honestly when they were coming down on me, I said I’m going to make a big save here if I need to and I was fortunate they missed the net,” he said. “I felt pretty good on it. I moved right with them and I don’t know maybe he gripped his stick a little too tight there.”

Just past the midway point of the period StFX found themselves in the penalty box after taking a checking to the head penalty. Although Alberta put two shots on goal, StFX dominated offensively even down a man, putting six shots of their own on net.

The momentum continued to stay in the X-Men’s favour and with 2:05 remaining in the period R D Chisholm slapped it home from the point to give StFX another lead.

Late in the period again the Golden Bears found themselves on the power-play and with 15 seconds left in the second Perricone had to use his glove to rob the Golden Bears of a goal, keeping his team up one.

The third period kicked off with an early goal from StFX from Kevin Undershute, giving his team a 3-1 lead. This was the eventual final score, but did not come without a few scares from Alberta as Perricone continued to stand tall for his team and keep Golden Bear shots from finding the back of the net.

After the game Alberta head coach Eric Thurston discussed what his team has to do tomorrow after today’s loss.

“I think we need to open things up. We’ve got the skill set to be able to do that. We’ve got to be willing to wheel,” he said. “McGill may want to play that way – I’m not sure. We can’t be afraid to get everybody in the cycle and have our D jump in with the second wave and just be a little bit more not worried about losing – play to win.”

He continued, discussing how his team had to ensure they were aggressive to start the game off against McGill.

“I think you’ve got to be aggressive off the hop. You’ve got to be of that mindset going ahead. If you’re looking to stay back and be tentative, you might miss some opportunities. I think we can play that way. I think you’ve got to establish it because I think it’s easier to go back and play defence rather than ask the guys to turn it up the offence.”

StFX will now await the result of tomorrow afternoons game between Alberta and McGill.

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